One other thing about New Year’s resolutions that I’m trying out this year is making my resolutions public. Usually I don’t tell anyone what I’ve decided to do, so that I can just quietly move on without feeling ashamed if (when) I don’t stick it out. I don’t normally even write my resolutions down.
My third (and final – I’m probably being way too ambitious as it is) resolution is to do with writing – and this year I have written down my resolutions, both publicly and privately, in order to see whether it makes me more likely to actually achieve them. Maybe it will. Maybe I’ll have quietly deleted these posts by February (and quietly ripped out the page from my bullet journal). We shall see.
The only problem with this resolution is that it’s pretty vague. In my journal I have written ‘#3: Become a better writer’ but I haven’t really worked out exactly what I mean by that, so I guess if I’m going to fuck up any of my resolutions it’s going to be this one. Or will it? Even if I only manage to do one blog post all year – even if this is my only blog post all year – then technically I’ve written something and, as I said in the last post, even a small amount of progress is positive.
So… technically I could actually tick this one off right now.1
Seriously though, I don’t really know what to do about this one. I don’t really know what I want to do. I want to be more than a blogger but right now I am just a blogger so… I suppose I ought to concentrate on being a better blogger and then figure it out from there. Right?
I have many issues. I have many issues in general, but I specifically have many issues to do with writing. There’s a fine line between not taking it seriously enough and taking it wayyyy too fucking seriously, and I think I’m in the former category purely because I’m too scared to take it too seriously in case I’m actually shit at writing and nobody told me. It’s one thing pouring your heart out on a personal website that you have control over and can delete at any moment but it’s another thing entirely writing something for someone else and having to go through the fear of them reading it and telling you that your writing sucks.
Probably. I’ve never actually submitted anything to anyone. I’ve never worked up the courage.
I have lots of things written down – but who really wants to read what I have to say? I had a post all ready to go a couple of days before Christmas about how I hate Christmas parties because of a terrible experience with a greasy stripper when I was 17 but I took it down just before it was scheduled. And then I didn’t write anything for a few days because my nerves were fucking shot. I’ve retreated into the safety of bland inoffensiveness because I’m a massive fucking fanny and everything else is too scary.
Imagine being a writer with scriptophobia. Fuck sake.
I need to get over this. Therefore, and I’m genuinely sorry if this offends you, but I have to do this:
Rule #1: Fuck everybody who isn’t me.
Back when I first started writing on here, I was really only writing for myself and the one other person that I’d told. I was writing out loads of personal shit because writing about it helps; I can control my emotions when I’m writing about something and I can step back a bit to consider things that I may not have even noticed when the events were happening – plus, with the benefit of hindsight and just generally being older and slightly wiser, I gain insight from the nuances I was too young and stupid to have understood the first time around.
Mixed in with all the memoir posts and emo shit are random think pieces that, again, are really for my benefit. I’m studying psychology and philosophy and occasionally the concepts that I’m learning are relevant enough for me to incorporate them into what I’m already writing about in order to better understand both myself and what I’m learning. I’m not trying to educate people, nor am I trying to change anyone’s mind about anything. When I get feedback saying that I’ve written something that helped someone – even if it’s just making them feel less alone somehow – it’s both amazing and fucking terrifying.
Hence my apology. I’m sorry that I can’t actively help anyone right now, but if I forget about all that and go back to concentrating solely on myself then perhaps I’ll start accidentally helping people again.
So that’s rule #1.
Rule #2: Read more books about writing.
I’m getting a bit repetitive. I think most of what I’ve said in this post is just a remix of something I’ve said in other posts, but sometimes my thoughts get stuck – especially when I identify a problem that I can’t solve or I’m worried about something. It’s a pain in the arse, but maybe if I read some of the many writing books I own (which I’ve definitely mentioned before) then I might get some ideas for new things to talk about or even perhaps find out a new way of solving my problems through writing.
Rule #3: Write more often.
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
I need to figure out how not to freak out and place myself on a temporary hiatus every time I write something that I think someone else might not agree with or like (see rule #1). I’m too scared to approach anything even vaguely controversial because I’m worried that I’ll make myself look stupid or even be vilified somehow. It’s ridiculous. I criticise myself in order to pre-empt criticism I might not even get and then I hide myself away for a while even though I haven’t actually published the thing I’m worried about.
Anxiety is a bastard. My options are give up, continue as I am, or push through it.
I’m going to push through it.
Wish me luck.
I hope you all have a wonderful 2018. Thank you for reading.